Philosophy & Goals

Our Philosophy and Goals

The pole vault is one of the most difficult and technical events in track field and athletics in general. In order to be successful in the pole vault an athlete must combine speed, strength, explosiveness, body awareness, gymnastics and a fearless attitude.

It is near impossible to master the vault in New England in the short time that is the outdoor track season especially when half of that season is cold, windy & damp. In addition for many of your newer vaulters the season lasts a mere 6 weeks unless they qualify for postseason championships. The question then becomes where can an athlete go to learn more about the pole vault?

Spring Pole Vaulting Scenarios #1 & 2

During the summer an athlete can attend any number of outstanding camps but without a place to come back to practice and perform repetitions of the skills they have learned it will be for naught as those skills will be lost. You gotta “use it or lose it” – continuous training is the only way to learn and master the pole vault in a safe way.

Patience is another necessary quality needed when learning to pole vault. We do not believe in quick fixes or magic bullets. There is no magic incantation we can say or a wand we can wave to instantly produce a perfect pole vaulter. Our methods for teaching the vault are long-term in nature and requires many repetitions of basic skills.

In addition each athlete is different – a unique puzzle to be solved. There is no single plan of action that will work with every athlete. While we do try and follow a proven technical model each athlete will require individual modifications to the model to account for differences in their physical and emotional characteristics.

With that in mind our year-round indoor and outdoor training allows us to let athletes progress naturally at their own comfort level without having to hastily prepare them for meets and gives them the opportunity to perform the necessary repetitions of basic skills needed for continued improvement. We stress step by step skill progressions in a way that allows for safety and success to go hand in hand. Our vaulters are not allowed to advance to more difficult skills, higher handgrips or longer poles without first mastering the basic fundamental techniques and movements. It is our hope that in exposing athletes and coaches to the proper progressions in a low-stress environment that the vaulter can maximize their potential without feeling the pressure of meet-based performances. Our competitions are with gravity and crossbars – not with other vaulters.

We are proud of the fact that we have numerous coaches and mentors on our staff to help teach at each session. While we all share the same general training philosophy, there are always different ways of explaining the same idea. Sometimes all it requires is a slightly different wording from a different voice for a concept to ‘click’. A high coach-to-athlete ratio also allows us to provide more individual feedback resulting in a better learning experience.

Another one of the best things about the club is the atmosphere. Because we have athletes and coaches from so many different towns and schools it provides unique opportunities to create friendships that transcend the usual school and team boundaries. Those friendships help to create a positive, cooperative experience for everybody.

Patriot Pole Vault Crew at the 2009 New England Scholastic Championships

In conclusion our club and our athletes have several goals.


As a club we hope to:

  • Promote the pole vault in a positive manner
  • Introduce the pole vault to new athletes, coaches, and schools
  • Provide individualized/personalized coaching plans based on an athlete’s strengths, weaknesses & ability
  • Provide a safe learning environment for athletes to learn fundamental pole vault techniques
  • Teach the athlete to coach themselves
  • Supplement high school programs and coaches
  • Help high schools create or further develop their own programs
  • Provide opportunities for athletes whose schools do not offer the pole vault
  • Provide access to poles to programs that cannot afford to provide them for their athletes
  • Mentor new pole vault coaches
  • Have our experienced athletes mentor younger athletes
  • Support all athletes in their quest to become better vaulters/athletes and better human beings
  • Prepare each individual to compete or perform at their highest level at whatever task they may be trying to accomplish
  • Help all athletes translate their success on the runway into success in other areas of their lives
  • Make the pole vault a fun and challenging experience

And it is our hope for each athlete to:

  • Place a priority on education first
  • Take responsibility and accountability for their own success
  • Improve their physical and mental fitness
  • Learn about the physics and mechanics of the pole vault
  • Master fundamental drills and movements
  • Master basic and advanced drill progressions for themselves and to teach others
  • Challenge themselves to the utmost of their abilities
  • Be willing to try new things
  • Eliminate “can’t” and other negative words from their vocabulary
  • Celebrate each and every victory no matter how small it is
  • Vault up to their goals and capabilities
  • Become a knowledgeable fan of the sport
  • Ask questions and communicate with the other athletes, mentors and coaches
  • Foster a sense of camaraderie amongst ourselves and others
  • Have fun vaulting and interacting with an awesome group of people